Several companies are currently planning to exploit natural oil and gas resources in the Black Sea, but investors are unable to start work on their projects owing to bureaucracy, chaos in the administration and high taxes that act as a deterrent to exploitation. Investors are complaining that excessive bureaucracy and unclear regulations are preventing them from obtaining the construction permits needed in order to create the necessary offshore infrastructure. Construction permits for exploration must be approved by no less than 27 separate bodies, and this is holding up any investment.

Furthermore, even though the Romanian government has promised on several occasions that the tax for resources extracted from the Black Sea will be lower than for onshore extraction, a new draft law setting the level of royalty levies shows that they are in fact similar. These royalty levies amount to 13% of the value of production, while the level of investment in oil and gas exploration in the Black Sea is much higher than for onshore exploration.

What instruments are available to the Commission with a view to finding solutions that will ensure that the exploitation of natural oil and gas resources is not stalled by bureaucracy and high taxes?